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May 20, 2024

A Great Honor For A Great Man

On May 16th, a seven-foot statue of Reverend Billy Graham was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol. The base of the statue is engraved with the verse John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Dr. James Dobson and many of us at JDFI have long admired the life and legacy of Billy Graham. Over his decades-long career, Graham held more than 400 evangelistic rallies in more than 180 countries, delivering the Good News to more than 200 million people. It is only fitting that he should be so honored with this monument in Statutory Hall.

Each state is only allowed to have two statues representing their state in the Capitol Building, and it was a long process to get to the unveiling. It began more than ten years ago when the North Carolina legislature unanimously named Billy Graham "North Carolina's Favorite Son."

In 2015, the North Carolina legislature approved a measure calling for a statue of Billy Graham to be one of the state's two statues in the Capitol. One week after Rev. Graham's death in 2018, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper submitted a request to have Graham's statue replace that of Gov. Charles Brantley Aycock.

Among the other pastors represented in Statuary Hall is Pennsylvanian John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg. In January 1776, Pastor Muhlenberg was preaching a sermon about the famous verse in Ecclesiastes 3, "There is a time for everything." At the end of his sermon, Muhlenberg declared, "There is a time for war and a time for peace, and now is the time for war." He removed his clerical robes and was wearing the uniform of a Continental Army officer.

While we know Billy Graham has received his reward in Heaven, we applaud the North Carolina legislature for honoring Reverend Graham in this way.

After the recent controversy over the National Day of Prayer, it is good to see "America's Pastor" take his place in Statuary Hall.

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